Pedicularis is a genus of perennial green root parasitic plants. The common name lousewort, applied to several species, is said to derive from an old belief that these plants, when ingested, were responsible for lice infestations in stock. Some sources say Louseworts were used to remove lice from livestock.
Pedicularis species are used medicinally as a skeletal muscle relaxer, and sedative. The flowers are often made into a tea or smoked. Extracts of the flowers have a strong relaxing effect when smoked. When used in a smoking blend, they add a nice flavor and relaxing effect.
One user, "J" from N.C., reports the following:
"I packed approx. 200mg of the purple bud material from Pedicularis densiflora into my bowl and smoked it. It took about 10 or 11 hits to finish the bowl, and by the 5th hit I started noticing effects. I felt a mild buzz and relaxation for about 10 mins, then it quickly and suddenly peaked to a moderate body buzz and spacey mental state and stayed there for 30 to 45 mins, then I gradually came down over the next 20 to 30 mins. Shortly afterward I fell asleep but upon waking I felt refreshed and noticed no "hangover" or negative after-effects."
Indian Warrior, or Pedicularis densiflora, is one of the most popular varieties used in smoking blends. It produces attractive deep-purple buds that go very well in herbal smoking formulas.
Elephant's Head, or Pedicularis groenlandica, is another popular variety used in smoking formulas. Though some sources report it to be weaker than others, the potency of Pedicularis varieties depends on many factors, and usually cannot be judged by species alone. Elephants Head buds are known for their exceptional flavor, and bright purple elephant-head shaped flowers.
Other Active Species
- Pedicularis racemosa - Parrots Beak, Sickletop Lousewort
- Pedicularis procera - Giant Lousewort
- Pedicularis bracteosa - Bracted Lousewort
- Pedicularis canadensis - Wood Betony
Important Note: Wood Betony also refers to a different herb (Stachys betonica)
Quality & Growing Conditions
Pedicularis is very rare and hard to find, becuase it is a parasitic and leeches off of a host plant If the host plant is poor the pedicularis's quality may suffer. In addition of the host plant is toxic the pedicularis may be toxic, so be careful when picking wild. It is totally unheard of to find toxic pedicularis online, but lower quality plants are common. It is not sold at some vendors, simply because it is hard to cultivate.
Where to Buy
KTBotanicals has some really nice and cheap Indian warrior bud